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Iranians feel ‘isolated’ amid internet blackout and regime’s brutal crackdown on protesters

Iranians feel ‘isolated’ amid internet blackout and regime’s brutal crackdown on protesters
Iran shut down internet across the country as people took the streets.
posted onNovember 21, 2019

Iranian people feel “shocked and isolated” after the government’s deadly crackdown on thousands of protesters in different cities and towns and shut down internet, creating a near-total information blackout for days.

An activist from the Kurdish city of Mariwan told Avatoday during a telephone conversation on Wednesday that “People are shocked by the brutality of the regime, which killed hundreds of protesters and arrested thousands of them.” She asked to remain anonymous for security reasons. 

According to a report by Amnesty International released on Wednesday, at least 106 civilians were killed by security forces in 21 different cities. The organization noted that the actual numbers of human casualties are believed to be as high as 200 civilians.  

Protesters closed the streets in over 100 cities and towns, demonstrating over petrol price hike.

“We feel completely isolated. It is not just that we don’t have access to the internet, but also, we have no clue what the rest of the world is saying about us.

"The jamming of satellite channels reached a peak following the protests,” She added, explaining how people have no access to the “trustworthy” news.  

She has also described the situation of the city as “highly militarized” and in “desperate needs for daily necessities.”

“All shops, supermarkets and groceries are closed since the clashes, people call owners to see if they would be able to buy foods from them at their house or somewhere.”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and president Hassan Rouhani called the protesters “thugs” and backed the government’s decision that tripled petrol price.

The Supreme Leader asked the country’s military forces to “bring back stability to the country.” He blamed “enemies and foreigners” for the unrests.

A Kurdish housewife from the city of Sanandaj has also described themselves as “hostages” of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but declared that schools were open again on Wednesday.

“Everything was so vague in the past few days. Today, schools were open and it was good to see a sign of normal life after all,” mom of two told Avatoday over phone.

At least one person was killed in Sanandaj on the first day of the protests, which turned violent after security forces used baton, tear-gas and gunshots to end the protests.

The Kurdish housewife asked the reporter if the protests were covered in the world media and expressed her surprise when she was informed about the news coverage of the Iranian protests in English media as well as in Kurdish, Persian, Arabic, German, and Scandinavians.   

“Oh, I am so happy then. I have this feeling that Iran wants to be the next North Korea; the government shut down the internet and start killing people,” she said.

An Iranian user on Instagram from the capital city of Tehran wrote on Thursday morning in an Instagram Story: “it was freed, “referring to internet, using hashtag #internet4iran.

He told Avatoday that he is using a connection line at work, but confirmed that they are still unable to use mobile internet data or home networks.